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February 20, 2022 136 min

1983 Week 18 - Sunday, July 3, 1983. Attendance: 31,905, TV: ABC.

[NOTE: If you want to skip all the pregame analysis you can forward the audio to about the 7:00 minute mark where the game begins]

Defensive end John Banaszak, who has played football in Michigan as a collegiate at Eastern Michigan and as a professional with the Michigan Panthers, tried to put the moment into focus. "If we win the playoffs we'll be the toast of this town," he suggested during a champagne-soaked post celebration.  The bubbly put an exclamation point on the Panthers' Central Division title clinching, which brought the Detroit area within two victories of its first major league sports championship since the Tigers' 1968 World Series victory. The 33-7 victory over the Arizona Wranglers, on the final day of the United States Football League's first regular season, sent Michigan, 12-6, into a semifinal round playoff matchup against Oakland. The Invaders were the Pacific Division champs with a .500 record. In the Panthers' victory, running back Ken Lacy threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the first quarter as Arizona, 4-14, matched the Washington Federals for the league's worst record.


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